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15 Awesome Marketing Tools I Use Daily

There are so many tools at a marketer‘s disposal.

You’ll find everything under the sun, including project management software, social media dashboards, Facebook Messenger chatbot builders and so much more.

With all the options, it can be come a little overwhelming — to the point that a lot of these powerhouse, unicorn tools get lost in the shuffle.

That’s why I rounded up the marketing  tools you actually need.

Every tool on this list is a tool I stand behind, and use in my day-to-day work life.

Read on to discover the 15 tools I can’t live without!

1. MobileMonkey

Facebook Messenger marketing is one of the hottest digital marketing trends out there, and with good reason.

Facebook Messenger messages earn an 80% average open rate an 20% open rate — and those numbers blow email marketing out of the water.

If you want those impressive levels of engagement for your own brand, then the first thing you need to do is a build a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Enter MobileMonkey.

MobileMonkey is the best Facebook Messenger chatbot builder out there — and did I mention it’s free?

With this MobileMonkey, you can build your first Messenger chatbot easily, with no coding required.

You can use your bot to send out messages (a.k.a. chatblast), answer questions, interact with contacts, conduct surveys, and so much more.

It can help jumpstart your Messenger live support and marketing campaign.

Use your MobileMonkey-powered chatbot to attract leads and drive engagement!

2. VisualHunt

Good content marketing involves having high quality images to go with your text.

Having a source of those high quality images is necessary to deliver the best content possible.

VisualHunt is a great source of free high quality images pulled from many online sources.

Their photos have Creative Commons Zero license, making them free for commercial use.

They also have Creative Commons and Public Domain photos you can embed on your content directly from the website.

Just search the keyword or theme you’re looking for and you should find the images you need.

3. Venngage

Nothing beats infographics for delivering information in a visually engaging way.

They’re often better than text, video, and photographs alone, making them a must-have in your content marketing.

With Venngage, you can create amazing infographics for your content in three easy steps.

You can choose a template in Venngage, add your data into charts and visuals, and then customize your design.

With over a hundred templates to choose from, Venngage is one of the best places to create infographics quickly and easily.

4. Serpstat

If you’re looking to get serious with your digital marketing, then you need an all-in-one SEO platform you can depend on.

Serpstat was designed for professional marketers who are looking to gain that extra edge.

You can get that by having all the data before you to make decisions on any online business marketing plan.

Serpstat has research tools with advanced analytics for you to learn about your audience.

It keeps record of historical data over time, giving you a bird’s eye view of your performance.

You can also group keywords by tags while also gathering insights in your traffic distribution.

That lets you know where you’re getting results from and what needs improving.

5. Contentful

This service is great for those looking to add more juice to their content marketing efforts.

Contentful boasts a new, more flexible approach to content management, promising to make blogging and content creation a breeze.

It’s an API-driven content management infrastructure designed to create, manage, and distribute content to any platform or device easily.

Basically, it’s like WordPress, but has a lot more bells and whistles that make it more secure and does your content management for you.

Companies like Spotify, Urban Outfitters, Red Bull, and so on make use of Contentful for their websites.

Running your website on Contentful lets you be steps ahead of everyone else with your content marketing.

6. Hotjar

Being able to understand how your audience behaves when they view your website can give you tremendous insight.

Hotjar lets you see where your visitors tend to click with its heatmap, letting you know what catches their attention.

You can then adjust your web design and content to encourage more clicks and engagement with your content.

It can also give you recordings of where their mouse cursors tend to go, how fast they scroll, and so on.

You also get to see your conversion funnel, showing how much of your audience goes from landing page to actual conversion.

With the information you get from Hotjar, you can fine-tune your website to bring in more customers and increase your revenue.

7.  WP-Chatbot by MobileMonkey

Having a Facebook Messenger-powered chat widget on your website is a surefire way to take your engagement and time on page to the next level.

The WP-Chatbot plugin adds a Facebook Messenger widget on your website.

It has complete integration with Messenger and your Facebook business page.

Visitors can then engage with your business easily without having to leave your website.

Since chatbot is integrated with Facebook Messenger, every person who interacts with you on the site will be added to your ever-growing Facebook Messenger contact list — which means you’ll be able to follow up with your chat participants after that initial site chat.

No doubt about it, adding a MobileMonkey chat widget to your site will increase engagement, provide new leads, drive conversions and boost revenue.

8. Buildfire

Adding an app to your business can be quite an upgrade, letting you reach even more users who use mobile devices.

Buildfire lets you build your own app from simple templates with no coding required.

If you know how to build stuff like websites, chatbots, and so on with templates, then you should be able to build an app here.

It’s almost like MobileMonkey, but for mobile apps on iOS or Android instead of chatbots in terms of what you can do with it.

Of course, building apps involves a lot more than just setting triggers and tasks for a chatbot.

Buildfire helps you throughout that process, letting you create an app that works for your business as you like it.

The best thing about it is it’s free to build an app in Buildfire by yourself, and you can also choose to hire Buildfire to do it for you.

9. DrumUp

If you’re looking for more help on your content and social media marketing, then this app may be for you.

DrumUp is a free and easy-to-use app that lets you manage multiple social media accounts more easily.

You can curate top content in your niche easily and save time on managing all your accounts by up to 90%.

It can even help you do more and reach out to more people with its great features and compatibility with many platforms.

DrumUp also lets you measure the social media engagement you’re getting through its analytics.

Keeping your profiles updated need not be such a big chore anymore thanks to DrumUp.

10. BrightEdge

Artificial intelligence has made digital marketing even more convenient in recent years, and BrightEdge takes advantage of it.

It lets you do SEO and content marketing more effectively through its AI to power organic search performance.

BrightEdge lets you track and use deep data and context to better your search engine optimization.

It also helps you run a high-performing website through its data intelligence.

You can then create high-quality content that satisfies customer demand through BrightEdge.

11. Todoist

The rigors of day-to-day digital marketing work can bog you down over time, making it seem like you’re no longer in control.

Todoist can help you take that control back by doing things like give you reminders on things you tend to forget.

You can enter your tasks for the day and have a list that lets you remember what to prioritize.

But Todoist isn’t just like any other productivity service as it’s designed mostly for business.

This lets you use a sleek interface for tracking your own thoughts, work tasks, errands, and so on easily.

Todoist can definitely help organize your work life with greater deal of clarity.

12. Visage

Visual storytelling is an art on its own, as it’s all about showing instead of just telling.

Visage is a visualization platform that lets content marketers create on-brand visual content easily.

This relatively new app features enable data visualization without all the finangling and hair-splitting.

You just need to enter your data and choose how it can be best shown, and you can edit it there like in Canva.

It also has additional features that makes it great for collaboration, which makes for seamless for group work.

Visage enables seamless ideation, design, distribution, and analytics for your visual content.

13. Oktopost

Managing all your social media activities can be tedious over time, especially for businesses.

Oktopost makes that easier for B2B enterprises, combining three separate solutions into one.

You get social media management, social employee advocacy, and social media promotions in one tight package.

If you’re looking to up your social media game for your B2B business, Oktopost is worth looking into.

14. Vidyard

Videos can be some of the best content you can make to increase engagement and conversions.

Vidyard is a tool you can use to make personalized videos easily without having to be an expert at video editing.

It lets you customize your video with ease, and you can then embed it anywhere you want.

With videos you make with Vidyard, you can maximize your first impressions and endear your business more to the people.

15. ContentCal

Making content is one of the more daunting tasks in marketing, but also one of the most crucial as it’s the meat of the campaign.

But it does get tedious over time and it may seem like you’re no longer in control of your time when you’re in the thick of it.

ContentCal can help you take back control with its visual calendar designed for planning and auto-publishing your social media content.

It’s used by many big companies and agencies for their content and social media marketing needs.

You can learn more on how to go about your content and social media through its analytics.

It also lets you customize your setup so you can tailor-fit ContentCal for every sub-brand, client, or company you work with.

Victory loves preparation, and you too can taste success every single day with a plan laid out in ContentCal.

Source: https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/15-awesome-marketing-tools-i-use-daily.html

Four easy steps to ensure your digital marketing success

Recently, I had a discussion with a new client during their intake meeting with my marketing agency team. Their medical practice has been in business for eight years and for the first time ever, they had an in-depth, meaningful conversation about how to grow their business, with professionals (my team) who had a process to help them deliver new patients to their practice.

Prior to working with my team, they had never really intentionally developed a marketing plan or strategy. They had been “winging it” for years.

As I outlined the marketing process to them during that meeting, I could see the light bulbs illuminating in their minds. This was an ah-ha moment for their team.

I had a few key take-aways from that business session that I wanted to share with you. The following is based on the presumption that your company has a modern, marketing-driven website.

Here are the 4 easy steps I shared with them that morning. If followed, your organization can ensure your digital marketing efforts are successful:

1. Attract Strangers

2. Convert Visitors

3. Close Leads

4. Delight Customers

So, let’s take a brief look at how this all should work:

Attract Strangers — Today it is vitally important to be publishing content that is relevant, reliable, and recent. If you want to be found online and attract quality customers, your content should answer the questions your potential customer, patient or client might ask. You want to be the go-to subject matter authority in your business category, so that people will come to your website. This will attract your best people-prospects to your website.

Convert Visitors — In digital marketing, the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action, is known as a “conversion.” In other words, conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your call-to-action (CTA). Most often, it is a consumer filling out a form on your site, so that they can receive something of value to them.

Close Leads — Once a “Lead” is generated through the conversion event, we begin the “Lead Nurturing Sequence.” This is a term we use to describe the chain of events that usually are automated through software such as HubSpot. This can be emails, retargeted digital and social media advertising, videos, testimonials or blog content on your website.

Delight Customers — You can do this very easily today. Here are a few things to consider as you strive to delight customers: Solve customers’ problems. Be timely. Be helpful. Help them succeed. Listen to their feedback. Be enthusiastic.

Success in business is often determined by what we focus on. So, in your digital marketing, I encourage you to focus on the people you want to serve in your business. Serve your people and focus on how you can help them win in their life, business, family, community.

As I continue on my mission to help people with their marketing and advertising across the Mountain State, I want to thank you for reading. If you have questions on this topic, I’d love to talk with you. Email me: jim@inneractionmedia.com

Source: https://www.wvnews.com/statejournal/opinion/four-easy-steps-to-ensure-your-digital-marketing-success/article_f1018808-b682-545d-ba45-ccb94acd4c02.html

How to Turn Google BigQuery Into A Powerful Marketing Data Warehouse

The Martech 5000 supergraphic highlights the big challenge facing marketers. As more products, tools, and platforms arise, so too does the amount of data marketers need to gather, monitor, and analyze.

To further compound this challenge, Scott Brinker, the man behind marketing’s most famous infographic, recently said that, “In some ways, forget about martech 5,000. Welcome to martech 50,000.”

This means it’s those companies and marketing teams who can better leverage the available data that will gain a competitive advantage over their competition.

Typically, spreadsheets have been the go-to option for marketers when it comes to gathering data in one place, but even they have their limits.

So, what’s the next option marketers have when it comes to gathering big data in a large repository?

The answer is a data warehouse.

What Is BigQuery & Why Should I Care?

Google BigQuery is a fast, scalable, and fully managed data warehouse that enables large-scale analytics.

There are multiple reasons why marketers should store their data in Google BigQuery.

Limitless Data

If you’ve used Google Sheets or Excel for marketing data analysis, you’ll know that spreadsheets have a limited capacity.

But in BigQuery, you can store an unlimited amount of data, which means you can transfer literally all your marketing data from every platform into one centralized place.

Access All Your Historical Data

Many native platforms limit the amount of historical data you can access. For example, Google Search Console offers six months of historical data within its native interface.

And while applications built on top of its API increases that figure to 16 months, you still don’t have a full overview of your past performance.

But with BigQuery you can use it to store all your past data, giving a complete overview of your historical performance.

Data From Different Platforms

As we saw in Brinker’s supergraphic, marketers have a lot of data on a lot of platforms.

Gathering all that together in one centralized repository is the only way to create a single source of truth for your marketing performance.

Analyze on a Granular Level

Within each marketing platform, you have a number of metrics and dimensions you can dig into.

However, when exporting your data into BigQuery you’ll often be able to have your data at a higher granularity than what is possible within these native interfaces.

For example, when transferring data from Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics into BigQuery, you be able to get granularity on an event or user level.

So say you run an ecommerce site, this lets you perform a deep path analysis to identify which are the most common page paths of your website visitors and how those paths differ between those who purchased and those who were just browsing.

This analysis would not be possible within native UIs as they don’t provide raw events data.

With BigQuery, it provides a whole new opportunity to really dig into your data and achieve levels of granularity not offered within native interfaces.

How Can I Easily Pull My Data Into BigQuery?

So how can you actually get your data in BigQuery?

Well, that’s exactly why we built Supermetrics for BigQuery.

Quite simply, it’s the first native BigQuery Data Transfer Service app that lets you move data from all your non-Google marketing platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and more) into BigQuery.

In addition, you can also move data from Google platforms that haven’t been integrated with BigQuery, such as Google Search Console and Google My Business, whilst also getting Google Analytics without the needing to pay for GA 360.

At Supermetrics, our mission is pure and simple: to let marketers easily move their data from wherever it is to wherever they want.

All our products are made by marketers, for marketers, and that’s why we wanted to make it super simple to transfer your data into BigQuery.

We eliminated the need to know the technical details of how to move your data and understand the basics of SQL. Instead, you just select what data you’d like to move into BigQuery and Supermetrics takes care of the rest.

Being able to extract the depth of data from your marketing platforms is also a vital component of conducting sophisticated analyses.

That’s why we spent a lot of time and effort to ensure our connectors provide marketers with more metrics and dimensions than any other BigQuery application available.

Furthermore, the data is also pre-transformed by our predefined schemas. This basically means that once your data is in BigQuery, you don’t need to do anything to it and it will be presented in the format marketers need.

How Can I Visualize My Data That’s in BigQuery?

Once you have your data in BigQuery, then comes the fun part: exporting it to visualization and BI tools.

Products like Tableau, Looker, and PowerBI provide robust platforms to turn your data into charts so you can monitor, analyze, and report on your marketing performance.

And in order to create a full end-to-end solution for marketers, we also built a dedicated connector to Google Data Studio so you can take all your data through BigQuery and into Data Studio using Supermetrics.

There are several benefits to the Data Studio connector that comes baked into Supermetrics for BigQuery, as it:

  • Automatically merges data from multiple sources without needing to write SQL.
  • Sets data types for all your fields with friendly naming structures (For example, “Account name” instead of “account_name”).
  • Adds calculated metrics like CTR, eliminating the need to manually define formulas.
  • Automatically includes time fields like week, month and year, which you would normally need to configure.

BigQuery: Common Use Cases for Marketers

There are endless scenarios for which marketers can use BigQuery, but here are three common ones to help get you started.

Cross-Channel PPC Analysis

Gather data from your PPC campaigns that run across multiple channels to identify which platforms are performing best for each campaign.

With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can now pull data from heavily used paid marketing platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Bing Ads into BigQuery so you’re able to do this.

This means you’ll have all of your data in a central location and can create all-inclusive visual reports of your blended data.

This, in turn, will ensure smarter allocation of your performance marketing budgets and improved ROI.

Web Analytics + CRM

It’s vital that digital marketers understand visitor behavior before and after conversion. Prospects often interact with several pages and content pieces across multiple visits before they do convert.

Pre-conversion, all this user data will be tied into a unique and anonymous cookie ID, which can be sent to Google BigQuery.

Once a prospect converts, they’d then have a CRM record ID, which in turn can be associated with their anonymous cookie ID by sending the cookie ID to the CRM upon conversion.

With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can track both pre- and post-conversion on-site activity from Google Analytics and combine it with enriched data from your CRM to generate an in-depth understanding of your prospective customers.

Attribution Analysis

Modern buying behavior makes attribution challenging.

As we discussed in the previous use case, it’s difficult to attribute every conversion to just one specific channel or touchpoint.

So gathering all the touchpoints someone has with you, across different channels, via multiple sources, and both pre- and post-conversion lets you not only gain a better understanding of your marketing funnel, but also – and more importantly – your customer journey.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/supermetrics-google-bigquery-marketing-data-warehouse/306115/

4 Major Marketing Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Can you believe it’s almost 2020? When I began my marketing career over a decade ago in 2009, I could hardly imagine what I’d be doing today as a marketing leader at an enterprise organization especially with technology. But each year, new and disruptive technological innovations are forcing marketers like me to evolve our best practices. Digital marketing, once the only game in town, has given way to multichannel marketing; and today, we are rapidly approaching the omnichannel marketing age.

And that can be overwhelming: As the rate of marketing innovation continues to accelerate, most organizations are having a hard time keeping up. But the good news is that new ways of doing things bring new opportunities. Here are four major marketing trends I see developing among organizations for 2020 and beyond:

1. Optimizing for on-SERP SEO

Ever hear of zero-click results? You’ve probably seen them. A zero-click result is a search result in which Google automatically provides the answer to the search query in the form of an automated snippet.

For example, if you type in ,“What is the temperature in San Francisco?” Google will automatically provide you a result it generates on its own. You’d actually have to scroll down to see the Adwords results and organic search results.

Google auto-populates search results for much broader queries, as well. Everything from “What is a cryptocurrency?” to “How do I create a marketing funnel?” has a snippet that may prevent a searcher from scrolling down to see more results.

Why is this significant? Because 61.8 percent of search results in Google are now zero-search results, according to data from Jumpshot. As a result, more and more keywords are becoming less profitable.

While the automatic snippet sometimes comes from a website that ranks somewhere on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP), companies are unsure how to optimize their content so that Google chooses them over anyone vying for the same spot. Needless to say, this is a concerning development for any business that markets or advertisers on Google.

Opportunity:The brand that figures out on-SERP SEO first will have a huge competitive edge.

2. Advertising on smart speakers (and optimizing for voice search)

Another major development in recent years has been the proliferation of smart speakers. In 2018, around 56 million smart speakers were sold to consumers, according to Social Report.

Yet despite the growing number of households asking Alexa, Siri and Google Home questions, smart speaker marketing and advertising opportunities have been scarce. But this seems to be changing.

In 2017, for example, Google Home users noticed that a universal ad for Disney’s Beauty and The Beast began playing shortly after scheduled morning announcements, called flash briefings. These types of ads were rare and infrequent at the time, but are now growing in popularity.

In 2019, we’re seeing better, less invasive, examples of branded advertising on smart speakers. One of the most customer-friendly ways to advertise on smart speakers is to make what’s called a “branded skill.” For example, if you tell Alexa “Ask Patrón for a cocktail recipe,” Alexa will respond with a diverse selection of possibilities, courtesy of the premium tequila maker. This strategy works:. Patrón gets more than 6,000 queries a month for its Alexa skill, according to Digiday.

Opportunity: Try the “branded skill” approach for your branded advertising, for a more customer-friendly tone.

3. Optimizing for voice search

Granted, most brands may not be ready to explore smart speaker advertising just yet. But in the meantime, they should explore optimizing their content for voice search.

According to Google, 20 percent of all Google search queries now take place through voice search. Even more telling is that 71 percent of all mobile users between the ages of 18 and 29 use voice assistants on their smartphones, according to Thrive Analytics.

Needless to say, it probably makes a lot of sense for all businesses to start optimizing their content for voice search, not just big enterprises. There’s a lot of advice from marketing experts on how to do this, and it seems that the consensus is that making content more conversational does the trick.

Opportunity: With most search happening on smartphones, optimize for voice search.

4. More chatbots and, yes, even more content!

Finally, as I’ve explained before, written content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is it predicted to be the marketing activity that will make the largest commercial impact three years running (according to Smart Insights), but written content is also the main throughput of chatbots, which are expected to see increased usage in 2020 and beyond.

According to a recent study by Juniper Networks, as AI-powered chatbots grow in popularity and sophistication, retailers can expect to cut costs by $439 billion annually and increase sales by $112 billion, by 2023. With numbers like that, it’s not too hard to see why large organizations will continue investing in newer and more helpful chatbots.

But chatbots aren’t useful just for big business. Any business that has a website with traffic can benefit from a simple chatbot that answers the most common visitor questions and helps convert visitors into warm leads.

Opportunity: Chatbots will help you cut costs.

Marketing is changing, and marketers must change with it

When I first got my feet wet in the marketing world, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be helping run digital marketing transformation programs. But that’s what it takes to stay competitive in the world of 21st-century marketing.

It’s almost 2020; have you looked into any new and innovative ways to spend your marketing dollars? Or how to double down on the marketing channels that work best for your business?

Because if you haven’t, I guarantee your competitors have.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333697

4 Major Marketing Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Can you believe it’s almost 2020? When I began my marketing career over a decade ago in 2009, I could hardly imagine what I’d be doing today as a marketing leader at an enterprise organization … 

… especially with technology. But each year, new and disruptive technological innovations are forcing marketers like me to evolve our best practices. Digital marketing, once the only game in town, has given way to multichannel marketing; and today, we are rapidly approaching the omnichannel marketing age.

And that can be overwhelming: As the rate of marketing innovation continues to accelerate, most organizations are having a hard time keeping up. But the good news is that new ways of doing things bring new opportunities. Here are four major marketing trends I see developing among organizations for 2020 and beyond:

1. Optimizing for on-SERP SEO

Ever hear of zero-click results? You’ve probably seen them. A zero-click result is a search result in which Google automatically provides the answer to the search query in the form of an automated snippet.

For example, if you type in ,“What is the temperature in San Francisco?” Google will automatically provide you a result it generates on its own. You’d actually have to scroll down to see the Adwords results and organic search results.

Google auto-populates search results for much broader queries, as well. Everything from “What is a cryptocurrency?” to “How do I create a marketing funnel?” has a snippet that may prevent a searcher from scrolling down to see more results.

Why is this significant? Because 61.8 percent of search results in Google are now zero-search results, according to data from Jumpshot. As a result, more and more keywords are becoming less profitable.

While the automatic snippet sometimes comes from a website that ranks somewhere on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP), companies are unsure how to optimize their content so that Google chooses them over anyone vying for the same spot. Needless to say, this is a concerning development for any business that markets or advertisers on Google.

Opportunity: The brand that figures out on-SERP SEO first will have a huge competitive edge.

Related: How an Alexa ‘Skill’ Can Boost Your Brand

2. Advertising on smart speakers (and optimizing for voice search)

Another major development in recent years has been the proliferation of smart speakers. In 2018, around 56 million smart speakers were sold to consumers, according to Social Report.

Yet despite the growing number of households asking Alexa, Siri and Google Home questions, smart speaker marketing and advertising opportunities have been scarce. But this seems to be changing.

In 2017, for example, Google Home users noticed that a universal ad for Disney’s Beauty and The Beast began playing shortly after scheduled morning announcements, called flash briefings. These types of ads were rare and infrequent at the time, but are now growing in popularity.

In 2019, we’re seeing better, less invasive, examples of branded advertising on smart speakers. One of the most customer-friendly ways to advertise on smart speakers is to make what’s called a “branded skill.” For example, if you tell Alexa “Ask Patrón for a cocktail recipe,” Alexa will respond with a diverse selection of possibilities, courtesy of the premium tequila maker. This strategy works:. Patrón gets more than 6,000 queries a month for its Alexa skill, according to Digiday.

Opportunity: Try the “branded skill” approach for your branded advertising, for a more customer-friendly tone.

3. Optimizing for voice search

Granted, most brands may not be ready to explore smart speaker advertising just yet. But in the meantime, they should explore optimizing their content for voice search.

According to Google, 20 percent of all Google search queries now take place through voice search. Even more telling is that 71 percent of all mobile users between the ages of 18 and 29 use voice assistants on their smartphones, according to Thrive Analytics.

Needless to say, it probably makes a lot of sense for all businesses to start optimizing their content for voice search, not just big enterprises. There’s a lot of advice from marketing experts on how to do this, and it seems that the consensus is that making content more conversational does the trick.

Opportunity: With most search happening on smartphones, optimize for voice search.

4. More chatbots and, yes, even more content!

Finally, as I’ve explained before, written content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is it predicted to be the marketing activity that will make the largest commercial impact three years running (according to Smart Insights), but written content is also the main throughput of chatbots, which are expected to see increased usage in 2020 and beyond.

According to a recent study by Juniper Networks, as AI-powered chatbots grow in popularity and sophistication, retailers can expect to cut costs by $439 billion annually and increase sales by $112 billion, by 2023. With numbers like that, it’s not too hard to see why large organizations will continue investing in newer and more helpful chatbots.

But chatbots aren’t useful just for big business. Any business that has a website with traffic can benefit from a simple chatbot that answers the most common visitor questions and helps convert visitors into warm leads.

Opportunity: Chatbots will help you cut costs.

Marketing is changing, and marketers must change with it

When I first got my feet wet in the marketing world, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be helping run digital marketing transformation programs. But that’s what it takes to stay competitive in the world of 21st-century marketing.

It’s almost 2020; have you looked into any new and innovative ways to spend your marketing dollars? Or how to double down on the marketing channels that work best for your business?

Because if you haven’t, I guarantee your competitors have.

Source:https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333697

A Primer for Using Music in Marketing

Brand Playbook looks at best practices for using copyrighted music–and how to avoid snafus

Indoor cycling company Peloton pedaled into some legal trouble in March—to the tune of $150 million—when the brand was sued for trademark infringement by a group of music publishers representing the likes of Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. For Peloton, which has made a name for itself by selling a fitness experience built on music, the lawsuit exemplifies a larger issue that newer brands face as they grow from scrappy upstart to seasoned marketer.

“The small startups may get away with using music without a royalty for a couple of reasons: They’re unknown to musical artists or their publishing houses, or they’re just too small to be bothered with,” says Scott Rogers, a partner in the copyright and trademark litigation group at the law firm Ulmer & Berne. “But as companies grow, continued use of unlicensed music certainly has the potential to be a real problem for them.”

When Peloton debuted seven years ago, it was relatively small and unknown. But the brand has exploded in popularity in recent years, investing more in marketing and introducing a new treadmill product as it prepares to go public this year. While it eventually removed classes featuring songs by the popular artists in question, it has also changed tactics, recently counter- suing the group of music publishers, alleging anticompetitive behavior.

“Very often there’s a cavalier attitude toward licensing music, even though music is a big part of what they’re doing,” says Owen Sloane, partner in the entertainment, media and arts department at law firm Eisner, noting the risks could include complaints from brand investors.

Experts say there are several strategies marketers can employ to avoid musical snafus—as well as the unwanted press that goes along with them—and also get the most bang for their buck. Some tactics could even improve brands’ use of music in their marketing by encouraging more consumer engagement.

“Brands that incorporate a good music strategy play a role in the consumer’s life beyond the product,” says Eric Sheinkop, author of the book “Return of the Hustle: The Art of Marketing With Music,” and an executive board member of SoStereo, a company that provides sonic identities for brands.

Try a cover
Marketers that might not be able to afford the costs of securing licenses from all of the creators involved with a song—writers, publishers and
artists—could opt for a cover version of the song instead. In this strategy, the brand only needs to get rights from publishers and, in some cases, from others, but covers are much cheaper options, experts say. Brands could also personalize cover songs for different markets—an Italian version in Italy, for example.
“It gives you the ability to localize anthems or campaigns by doing covers,” says Sheinkop.

Experiment with shorter terms
When Budweiser aired its Super Bowl spot earlier this year, it paid top dollar for the rights to Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” to promote its use of wind power—but those rights were only for a limited time, compared with the typical three-to-six-month minimums. Anheuser-Busch InBev had the Dylan rights for two weeks before turning to a rerecorded version of the song by the Cloves for future broadcasts. Using short-term rights is a smart way to save money but still make a big splash, experts say.

Do it in stages
Some music publishers are willing to work on alternative plans for startups short on cash, according to Sloane. He says that startups could devise a contract with a publisher that starts with a less expensive license, and builds to something more lucrative as the brand becomes more successful and has more money to allocate to music license fees. While this practice is not widespread, it could work for marketers like Peloton, which start small and grow more popular.

Mix it up
Some brands have found success in both avoiding lawsuits and keeping costs low by using a mix of music sources. Zumba, the global fitness brand based in Hallandale Beach, Florida, creates one-third of its music in-house as exclusives; sources one-third from lesser-known, independent artists; and licenses hits from established, popular musicians for the last third. The formula has worked well for the company, which can also claim it “discovered” several musicians who went on to larger success and recognition, such as Jenn Morel and Don Omar. Zumba works with thousands of artists.

“The Zumba experience has many different elements,” says AlbertoPerlman, CEO at the 18-year-old brand, noting switches from Reggaeton to hip-hop to salsa, for example. “When we can’t find the right song we say, ‘Let’s create one.’”

Consider tapping technology
There’s also more technology available to help marketers find the best music mix for their brands. Sheinkop’s company SoStereo has developed an AI tool that will create music in the vein of popular songs already in existence.
“It’s not all or nothing,” Sheinkop says, referring to the choice between expensive big-name artists or bland elevator music. “There’s a lot of opportunity in-between.”

Source: https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/primer-using-music-marketing/2170871

We have to stop marketing junk food to children

Imagine being able to walk into a grocery store with your children and not have to fend off endless demands to buy kid-branded food products because there are none in sight. This peaceful scenario could become a reality if Bill S-228 passes in the Canadian senate.

The bill, introduced in 2016 by former senator and Olympic ski champion Nancy Raine Greene, would prevent food and beverage companies from marketing to children under age 13 across all forms of media – TV, Internet, billboards, magazines, radio, bus stop posters, and even food packaging itself. Marketing of foods and beverages that contain more than 5 percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for sodium, sugar, or saturated fat would be restricted. Currently, this includes the vast majority of foods that are typically marketed to kids. Mary L’Abbé, researcher at the University of Toronto, wrote in the Star that her lab has examined more than 15,000 foods (roughly three-quarters of the Canadian processed food market):

“We found that with the proposed DV threshold, only 16 percent of all products could be marketed to kids, and just 2 percent of products which currently have child-directed packaging meet the threshold.”

So, it’s clear that such legislation would have a serious effect on manufacturers, which is why they’re fighting it fiercely and the bill has stalled after its third reading in the Senate last fall. The CBC recently published a confidential letter from the heads of advertising, food processing, and retail companies, asking senators to withhold their support.

This is unacceptable, considering the good such a bill could do. Children are vulnerable citizens, lacking media savviness and susceptible to popular opinion. They are developing their own taste preferences and establishing eating habits that will stick with them for life (or be very hard to shake, especially if they’ve gained weight at a young age). They are also in great need of healthy nutrients to support rapid physical and mental growth. Dietitian Cara Rosenbloom makes the argument in Today’s Parent:

“There’s a known correlation between current food marketing and the rising rates of childhood obesity and chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Currently, 90 percent of the foods marketed on TV are high in salt, sugar, calories and fat, and that’s what our children are being encouraged to eat.”

Bill S-228 would work in two ways, as described by Prof. L’Abbé in University of Toronto magazine (Spring 2019):

“It reduces the amount of marketing that children and parents are exposed to, and it also works as an incentive to the food industry to reformulate foods. We saw that happen with trans fats: virtually every company has reformulated their foods to get below the regulations.”

Both points are important, but I think the latter is particularly profound. Of course people need to take responsibility for themselves, but for too long we’ve shouldered all that responsibility without expecting much from the companies that produce and sell us our food. It’s the same argument we’ve used many times on this website for plastic packaging; it shouldn’t be our job to clean up the detritus of a broken system.

This has to change. To quote L’Abbé again, “We want more of the onus to be put on the system rather than the individual to find the healthiest food… We want to help minimize the [parent’s] struggle.”

Source:https://www.treehugger.com/health/we-have-stop-marketing-junk-food-children.html

6 ways to effectively market an AI startup

No startup is easy to grow, and with more and more artificial intelligence (AI) companies being founded around the world, the reality is that they can’t all lead the way. Some will struggle along for years, unable to find any real traction, while others will perish completely shortly after they’re funded.

As a founder or marketer, you need to be able to effectively communicate your value proposition. People respond to great products, so it’s crucial to understand that product is the new marketing.

Only the strongest, smartest, and most creative will survive and thrive. Like any product or service, the ones that do come out on top will be the ones that add the most value to users’ everyday lives.

That’s not to say, though, that you can’t give your own AI startup an edge by properly nailing down your marketing — and that’s what we’re going to talk about here.

Here are six actionable tips for getting the most out of your marketing strategy.

1. Have a no-BS approach to AI

This one is pretty simple, but it’s worth touching on because it’s something which, bizarrely, is seen all too often. Only market yourself as an AI startup if you’re actually doing AI.

With AI being the relative newcomer on the Silicon Valley block, it’s tempting for companies to say they’re the latest and greatest “AI-powered travel startup” — you can insert pretty much any industry in there, by the way.

Be careful not to add AI to comms or value prop if what you’re doing doesn’t actually revolve around AI. It might seem like a cool idea now, but marketing yourself as an AI startup when you’re not can lead to problems down the road with both customers and investors.

2. Be visual and show users how it works

It’s no secret that a lot of people are visual learners, and when it comes to communicating a product, there’s no better way of grabbing someone’s attention than with great visuals.

Give your customers a peek under the hood of your product. Sure, you can show them screenshots, GIFs, and videos of your product in action — and I highly recommend you do — but giving them an idea of how it all works is great, too.

MightyAI does this well on its products page with clear visuals and animations that help prospective customers visualize its data ingestion solution in action. Powerful visuals can help you democratize your solution, no matter how complex it actually is behind the scenes.

3. Talk about ROI, not just tech

It’s easy as AI entrepreneurs to get wrapped up in features and tech speak, but your customers probably don’t care as much as you about the ins and outs.

Yes, it’s good to show them how things work under the hood, but ultimately you’re selling a service, and what they want to know first and foremost is how your product is going to:

  • Boost their sales
  • Streamline their processes
  • Minimize their losses
  • Reduce business costs, and
  • Improve customer relationships

Contextualize your value proposition in relation to your customers’ pain points. Take ROSS Intelligence, for example. ROSS is a legal research platform powered by artificial intelligence, which helps users to quickly determine the answers to legal research questions.

What they’ve done nicely is communicate that they are first and foremost an AI company but that their goal is to help people find answers to legal questions in seconds. Less about the tech, more about the benefits.

4. Show them case studies

It’s important to write up case studies of the customers you work with.

Why? Because AI is, for most non-technical people, somewhat of an enigma. Even if you’re able to communicate the benefits of your service to them through bullet points and visuals, it might not hit home completely until they see evidence of your success, through someone else.

For example, automation unicorn UiPath offers a variety of compelling customer stories on its website to showcase its powerful solution applied in the real world.

Case studies help demonstrate tangible value creation and guide prospective clients toward use cases that fit their context and needs.

5. Build a killer demo

This goes back to the point about visual learning and touches on the above point, too. Your product ought to be able to speak for itself, and one of the best ways to allow it to do that is through a clear and engaging demonstration.

Show people how product in action, and they’ll do the rest, imagining themselves reaping the benefits of what you have to offer. Lobe does a great job of this with a highly visual and practical demo that puts its technology in context for the uninitiated.

6. Offer free webinars and consulting sessions

Talk directly to your customers. I mean actually talk to them, with your voice. Webinars and consulting sessions are an invaluable way not only to answer questions people may have about your product but also to create excitement, build a community, and get people onboard to promote your product for you.

Marketing should be about showcasing your best ideas to the right people in ways they understand and find valuable. Product deep dives, thought leadership, and a consultative selling approach are keys to earning your customers’ attention, trust and, ultimately, their budget.

You can have the best idea in the world, but marketing and growth can make or break your company. As the AI landscape becomes more competitive and democratized, understanding how to effectively market yourself to people from all walks of life, will be key to your success.

Source:https://venturebeat.com/2019/03/12/is-your-company-missing-essential-data/

Cause Marketing Isn’t Working for Young People

Trends show that young people gravitate towards brands with purpose. Stand for something, Gen Z says, and we’ll reward your company with our attention and dollars. 

According to new research out this month from DoSomething Strategic, a social impact consultancy, marketers are struggling with putting the ideals of cause marketing into practice as brands focus on individual campaigns and not deeper meaning. 

“Marketers are missing the mark in how to get [cause marketing] right and use it as a connection point,” said Meredith Ferguson, managing partner at DoSomething Strategic. “If you do cause marketing, you need to understand it’s deeper and more than a simple campaign.”

The report, which surveyed 1,908 DoSomething.org members ages 13–25 about their awareness of 88 retail and consumer brands’ support of social causes, platforms and issues, found that two out of three young consumers (66%) say that a brand’s association with a social cause positively influences their overall impression of the brand. Moreover, 58% say this association will affect their likelihood of purchasing that brand. 

However, across the 88 brands tested—like Dove, Patagonia, Nike, DSW and Axe—an average of just 12% of respondents had “top of mind” associations between brands they were familiar with and a social cause of platform. The report also notes that “77% say that they at least sometimes purchase products or services from a brand solely because they believe in the brand’s values/reputation and want to support them. And roughly two out of five young people do this regularly.”

This doesn’t mean that committing to a “cause” isn’t working; the marketing isn’t, Ferguson said.

According to Ian Schafer, CEO of social movements events business Kindred,this research might indicate that many brands aren’t doing a good enough job with both communication and living their purposes. 

“Just because a brand aligns itself with an issue or cause in a TV spot (which Gen Z is way less likely to see, mind you) doesn’t mean it is making purpose inextricable from its brand,” Schafer said. 

Schafer added that, when done well, a modern brand lives at the intersection of purpose and company behavior. Given that, according to this study, two-thirds of Gen Z say purpose contributes positively to their brand experience, that’s reason enough to not just communicate the brand’s commitment but live it in their actions for the sake of customers and employees.

“An authentic, well-communicated purpose also does something else,” Schafer said. “It creates benefit of the doubt in the minds of young consumers when something inevitably goes wrong. For a generation that is expert at finding the information it needs, purpose is a critical insurance policy.”

Purpose marketing, Zenith Media’s head of innovation, Tom Goodwin, said “is one of those vague tactics that has the benefit of feeling right and doesn’t seem to be too tarnished by not really being true, meaningfully precise or remotely useful, except vaguely directional.”

Connor Blakley, Gen Z marketer and CEO of CB Projects, which develops and manages Gen Z influencers in impact-driven verticals, said that purpose is subjective, with brands trying to please everyone instead of just making decisions to create a real community.

“Our whole life is personalized. We expect brands to come meet us where we are at instead of trying to get us to go to them,” Blakley said.

It’s not just fishing where the fish are but also meeting this audience where their emotions are. Or, as Ferguson noted, where their psychological states are.

So, how does that line up with brands that define themselves as purpose driven?

According to Kantar’s Purpose 2020 report, which looks at how brands think of purpose, those brands that fall into a purpose-led strategy “stand to grow at twice the rate of those without any higher-order societal aim,” according to a statement. The report found that almost two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z want “brands that have a point of view and stand for something.”

Source:https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/cause-marketing-isnt-working-for-young-people/

Cardano (ADA) revamps the marketing strategy: Subreddit and Twitter channels grow massively

  • Cardan subreddit grows from 200,000 to 400,000 in less than two months.
  • Cardano brand awareness on the rise on Twitter and other social platforms following the internal restructuring.

Cardano has from its inception kept a small marketing profile compared to other crypto projects like Tron (TRX). Several bodies have been in charge of Cardano’s marketing over the years including IOHK, Emurgo and Cardano Foundation. However, the primary responsibility for the Cardano Foundation is to market the network. However, the community has felt that the organization is not up to the task.

The community said that the organization did not meet its obligations, in turn, sparking an internal conflict. Petitions emanated from the community that pushed for the removal of the chairman of the Foundation, Michael Parsons. This particular petition gathered thousands of signatures.

An agreement between the founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson, Ken Kodama the CEO of Emurgo and Michael Parsons led to internal restructuring of the Cardano Foundation. Following the restructuring process, their efforts seem to be yielding positive results.

The project has begun gaining traction within the community where the network is seeing a steady rise in the traffic on its website from around 200,000 to 400,000 in the period between February and April 2019 as per the data provided by SimilarWeb.

In addition to that, there has been a steady growth on the networks social media channels as well in the period starting January 2019. Cardano subreddit increased from roughly 50,000 members to about 70,000 (data from Reddit metrics). Twitter, on the other hand, has seen a month-over-month average from 1,000 to 2,550 representing 155% increase according to Social Blade.

Source: https://www.fxstreet.com/cryptocurrencies/news/cardano-ada-revamps-the-marketing-strategy-subreddit-and-twiter-channels-grow-massively-201905081022